Done Deals: Plantagenet Buys French Bakery, Moves to Pre-Baked –

Plantagenet Capital Management LLC, the San Francisco-based private equity firm, last month with existing management acquired Pain et Force, a French bakery company. Terms of the transaction were undisclosed. Plantagenet retained an 85% stake in the company while management retained the remaining shares.

Geoffroy Surbled, a managing partner at Plantagenet’s office in Paris, said the company went bankrupt in 1998 and was acquired by a newly formed company by management of the distressed company in May 1999. Surbled said Plantagenet was in contact with that company for two years and because of his past experience with mergers and acquisitions, Plantagenet handled the M&A portion of the transaction in house.

“This is really a technological move with the company where we will make an industrial switch from classical frozen bakery goods to pre-baked goods,” said Surbled.

Pain et Force is based in Northeastern France and was founded in 1966. The company produces frozen bread and croissants for supermarket chains and institutional clients and also operates a chain of sandwich shops under the brand name Panichaude. The company’s sales are expected to reach approximately $11 million this year.

Surbled said equity for the transaction came from Plantagenet Capital Europe fund.

Plantagenet Capital launched its European fund in January 1999 and closed on $208 million in July 1999 (BUYOUTS July 5, 1999, p. 1). Surbled also said that Plantagenet Capital Europe would soon close on another European deal blending the Internet with a flower company comparable to the U.S. operation of 1-800-Flowers.

Last year, Plantagenet Capital acquired Champagne Albert Le Brun from a family group for an undisclosed amount (BUYOUTS Jan.10, p. 50). And last month the firm teamed up with Paris-based Institut Francais du Petrole (IFP) a European research and industrial development center focused on the petroleum and automotive industries, to identify turnaround investment candidates in the North American energy industry (BUYOUTS Feb. 7, 2000, p. 4)

Plantagenet Capital is a multi-staged private equity firm focused on venture, later stage and turnaround transactions with offices in San Francisco and Paris.